Capitals Weekly Trends – Another Mixed Bag Over Another Tough Week

Welcome to the fourth installment of our Washington Capitals weekly trends report. The regular feature provides a very brief snapshot of the most relevant statistical trends for Capitals over the past seven days.

The following table lists the Capitals team stats and league rankings for last week (Left side – after 14 games) and the current stats and rankings for today (after 18 games). The colors indicate improving (green) and/or worsening (red) trends over the past week. [Click to enlarge]

This last week’s snapshot begins with a loss to the Penguins on home ice followed by a pair of mutual drubbings with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The week concluded with a tough, hard-fought loss to the Panthers in the Sunshine state on Tuesday. The loss to the Penguins was probably the biggest disappointment, as Pittsburgh was below the Capitals in the standings and riding a seven-game losing streak entering the game.


Power Play – The Capitals power play took a “ofer” for the week, going 0 for 21 across the four games. The Capitals man-advantage has been bi-polar this season, as they went 4 for 5 the game prior to the the start of the “Ofer”. It’s difficult at this point to project exactly where the Capitals power play unit sits with respect to the rest of the league.

Goals For/Game – 5-on-5 scoring continues to be a challenge for the Capitals, and arguably the biggest reflection of the team’s injuries to date. Lines have been continuously changing, with no one line ever really providing any kind of consistent play. The team needs to find a way to hang on for dear life until the cavalry comes – or players begin returning from injury.

Penalties  – The Capitals were called for more penalties this past week, but also drew more penalties, so this could basically be considered a wash.

Goaltending – While the Capitals goaltenders have been under siege for most of the season, they had been able to fend-off more than their fare share of (expected) goals. They took a hit this week, but again, goaltending is not an issue for the Capitals.


Possession – The Capitals possession metrics continue to improve, ever so slightly, but the improvement has been consistent over several weeks now, which is a good sign. This may be the biggest positive in a big picture sense.

Faceoffs – Regardless of your opinion of the overall importance of faceoffs, the Capitals continue to improve at the dot.

Hits/Blocks/Takeaways – The Capitals improved their league standing in hits, blocks and takeaways per 60 minutes of play. This feels like an attempt by defensemen to step up their game, but that is not statistically linked at this point.

The Capitals will look to salvage their three-game road trip Thursday night when they face the Blues in St. Louis. Then it’s a return home for three games before they embark on their annual northwest road trip.

By Jon Sorensen


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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9 Responses to Capitals Weekly Trends – Another Mixed Bag Over Another Tough Week

  1. novafyre says:

    If the league was more consistent in calling penalties, I would find that more useful. Especially good penalties vs bad penalties. Trouble it it can change nightly depending on the officials. However, I would have mentioned NAK’s suspension as a bad thing since it does remove a player’s availability.

    Goaltending has been a highlight this year out of both goalies except for the Amalie game. Faceoff numbers are much much improved and I do value winning faceoffs (Beags!!)

    ” The colors indicate improving (green) and/or worsening (red) trends over the past week. ” Maybe we should stop Rocking the Red?

  2. Anonymous says:

    to quote dennis green…”they are who we thought they were”. an aging slow injury riddled team trying to find their identity and chemistry in a professional league…

    • novafyre says:

      If you have lemons, you make lemonade. When our aged, injured vets return, we can go back to making fine wine. But I feel that it is a failure of our coaching staff that they cannot adapt to the hand that they have currently been dealt. These are experienced, highly paid professional coaches, not a bunch of volunteer dads.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Ah, another great pull from NFL history. What happened to those coaches? We were talking about “Playoffs?!?!” Just the other day. 😁

      • novafyre says:

        Jim Mora is 87 but Dennis Green died 6 years ago.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          Ah, sorry to hear about Dennis Green. I was meaning where are those types of coaches? Jimmy Johnson, etc. They brought so much flavor to the league.

          • novafyre says:

            NHL has Torts. TNT or ESPN just had a priceless in-game interview this past week.

            NFL had Chuckie. And got rid of him. They wouldn’t approve of tickets being left for Elvis any more. McKay would be censored for his press conferences, Madden would be censored for his sideline rants. The No Fun League.

          • Anonymous says:

            those kinds of coaches offend the pansy-ass masses. you have to toe the line and use simple quotes and blah blah blah. personality and being human and having emotions are viewed as negative.

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